== == The scientific name for this nuisance is Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, or "ich/ick" for short. It is the largest known ciliated protozoan found on fishes. It appears on the body and fins as tiny white dots resembling grains of salt; hence the other nickname, "white spot disease." These white spots may join together to form white patches. Other signs of infestation can include excessive flashing (rubbing against the substrate or decorations), labored breathing, clamped fins, loss of appetite, lethargic and/or reclusive behavior, and hovering near filter returns. Keep in mind, however, that all of these symptoms are common with fish in distress and do not point directly to Ich. As a matter of fact, flashing often occurs after routine water changes due simply to a fluctuation in general hardness.